A North Carolina-based retail chain plans to hire up to 40 people at an event this week for a new store that will open on Springfield’s north side this summer.
Roses, part of discount retail chain Variety Wholesalers, will take applications from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and again Thursday at 2960 Derr Road. It will be in the former Kmart location, which closed last year.
Carpenters will begin working on the inside of the store this week, and then the store will start receiving merchandise in a couple of weeks, said Wilson Sawyer, company president. Roses will officially open Aug. 1.
Roses sells clothing for the whole family, home décor, housewares, home and garden products, toys, health and beauty goods and more, Sawyer said.
“About half our store will be apparel at every day low prices,” Sawyer said. “We try to seek out special buys that will allow us to offer goods at lower prices than most retailers.”
In the last 2.5 years, Variety Wholesalers has opened about 14 stores in Ohio, including one in Dayton and three in Columbus. Founded in 1922, the family-owned business has 400 stores in 16 states.
“Our company grows primarily through finding buildings that others have vacated,” Sawyer said. “We consider: (are) there enough people to support the store, is there room in the market place?”
Sawyer said Ohio has many vacated buildings that are good for retail and provide an opportunity to serve more customers.
Starting Wednesday, the company will begin looking for about 40 workers — including sales people, cashiers, stockers, assistant managers and general office positions. According to the job posting online, the jobs are full-time.
The new business will fill the hole Kmart left when it vacated a busy and populated area. In February 2012, the parent company announced plans to close 120 Kmart and Sears locations, including the Derr Road store, after a sharp drop in sales. The local store closed in April 2012, and more than 50 people were laid off.
Filling the vacant space is a positive way to help businesses in the shopping center and in the neighborhood, said Horton Hobbs, vice president of economic development for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“By being closer to a residential area, it’s another retail opportunity for those neighbors,” Hobbs said. “More than anything else, when you start to fill vacant spaces, it increases traffic. Increasing traffic will be beneficial to nearby and surrounding business, and overall it will improve the economic climate in that area.”